Thursday, March 15, 2012

tips to win at pinterest

{them + my extra words}

I've been meaning to post this for a while, but I hope the fact that I'm behind hasn't made this post less relevant. As the number of pinterest users skyrockets and the number of link referrals from pinterest have started outpacing the number from twitter (yes, really), I still think learning how to use pinterest well is a good idea - for fun and for business!

I started using pinterest almost as soon as it came out, and so the advice I have here is gleaned from months of experience. I'm not going to pretend its definitive, but I believe it to be good.


1. Have an original profile
This should apply to every one of your social media profiles. Everyone likes a drink and a walk on the beach. NOT everyone is obsessed with greyhounds dressed at Star Wars characters (but I am). Stand out. Say more than you're a student from Somewhere U or a mom of 4 - you're Somewhere U's student expert on how late is too late to study for an exam, or a mom of 4 and watercolor artwork enthusiast.

2. Double check what you're linking to
Once you've got your profile glammed, and you're following a few people (you can follow my boards here), you're ready to start pinning. Now, my biggest pet peeve about pinterest are pins that don't link to what they say they will. If you stumble across a pin for the BEST JUMBALAYA EVER, take a second to click through and make sure it actually links to that recipe. If it doesn't, don't repin it. And when you create your own pin, think about that; i.e. create that pin from within the blog post that recipe was published in, not from the blog's homepage. Otherwise you'll never find it again.

3. Be witty or sarcastic or funny. Just be SOMETHING.
Don't be every other pinner. Don't have boards titled "this is my dream home" or "this makes me hungry." That's what everyone's boards are titled. Be sassy or funny - my recipes board is titled "GET IN MY FACEHOLE" and my alcohol and dessert board is called "Cocktails & Dessert Porn" for instance. Your office will probably block those as being inappropriate, but that just means you're doing something right.

This also applies for the comments section - I don't do it every time, but it's good to put your own thoughts on the pin, especially if you have something funny/witty/sarcastic to say. Doing all this is how the board "Shit Girls Put on Pinterest" went viral.

4. Promote a lifestyle, not a few pictures
The most successful users pin more than pictures of things they like - their boards are integrated to promote a way of life. Taken together, their boards and their pins represent who they are, and you should aim to make your boards integrated the same way - some of what I've already said can help you with that.

5. When you want to get pinned.
We used to say getting pinned down was a bad thing, but now you might want to get pinned. As I mentioned, referral rates from pinterest have surpassed even twitter now, and your blog stats could be reflecting that. So how do you get pinned? The biggest thing you need is good looking photos. Good writing/useful advice is obviously important, but if you don't have good photos to accompany them, forget it. What are they going to pin after all? If you're doing a tutorial, post a before & after photo with the title of the tutorial in your post. This lets people know what that pin has to offer. If you're writing about something else, have a relevant stat made into a picture or a beautiful photo attached to that post (that make sense with the post) included. People like pretty things.

Say you're trying to promote your shop on pinterest -- try adding a pinterest-exclusive coupon code to the photos you pin. I'm actually trying this with my Etsy shop now - I'll let you know how it goes.

Most importantly, just be you. On all social media platforms, be yourself. No one can be you better than you can, and when you're trying to be someone else, everyone can tell. Let your real inspirations, your real style, and your real flair shine through.

Do you have any other tips or tricks to win at pinterest? Leave them in the comments - I know I'm interested!


  1. I'm pretty new to Pinterest but I am following you now to check our your profile.

    Enjoying your blog. And now following you on twitter @TinaLaneBlogs

  2. these are all great tips :) very well-written advice!

    1. Thanks! I just hope it's useful, haha. :)

  3. Great tips. My alcohol recipes board is "Belly Up to the Bar"... I don't pin as much anymore though, I like to do things that aren't popular. It has started to annoy me a little bit that EVERYONE is now on Pinterest. I am sure I will get over it, like I got over the timeline on Facebook... but maybe not.

    1. Yeah. Now that everyone from my high school is on pinterest, I'm less enchanted with it. I guess I don't have to follow them though, haha.

  4. Pinterest is awesome! Especially for recipes.

  5. I've been trying to avoid jumping on another social networking bandwagon, but you may have just convinced me here!

    (Thanks for your comments on my blog!)


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